You claim that David misunderstood your comment. If it did not mean that you have personal connections with unnamed others who could destroy his aspirations, as he suggested, and you did not mean that you were tacitly referring to his possible apostasy, then what DID you mean?
A fair question.
Here’s the relevant passage from my original post:
”What you fail to understand is that I am not the only one who is watching. How tragic when aspirations and possibilities draw further and further apart, without us even being aware ... "
Let’s first parse David’s dramatic commentary on what I said:
… Will suggests that he has personal connections with unnamed others …
There is, of course, nothing whatsoever
in my post that makes reference to “personal connections with unnamed others.” I’m not sure what eisegetical tick led David to that conclusion, but it is not warranted by the text, nor by my intent.
… who will destroy my personal aspirations …
Again, I’m not sure what eisegetical tick led David to that conclusion, but it is not warranted by the text, nor by my intent.
What I did
say is that “I am not the only one who is watching.” And so it is. Many people have followed David’s recent posting history with interest. Among these are people who would very much like to have a trained Old Testament scholar among the ranks of the faithful Latter-day Saints. It is a fascinating and potentially instructive field of study. However, many of those watching, including myself, have found themselves feeling uncomfortable with some of David’s interpretations, as well as the frequently condescending and authoritative fashion in which he has advocated for those interpretations. One of these “watchers” felt that some of David’s statements amounted to, in his words, “getting ahead of the Brethren.” While I don’t necessarily believe that phrase fully encapsulates the nature of my
personal discomfort with some of David’s exegetical postures, it will suffice for my purposes in the present context.
For example, David, on several occasions, quite explicitly criticized the modern leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ for failing (in his opinion) to feel the same urgency he does about implementing the Law of Consecration. Doing so immediately caused a warning siren to sound in the minds of many “watchers,” and thereby served to diminish his (David’s) perceived authority and reliability as a faithful expounder of scriptural import. This diminuition of perceived reliability has thus had the effect of increasing the distance between David’s manifest aspirations to be considered a reliable source for faithful scriptural exegesis, and the previous extent of the possibilities he has to fill that role over the course of his life.
Additionally, his increasing propensity to identify with and find common cause with a number of undeniably confirmed apostates (not “members struggling with their faith,” but clear-cut cases of confirmed and active apostasy) has further eroded his credibility among those who hoped to look to him for reliable (and faithful) scriptural exegesis. Again, this diminuition of perceived reliability has thus had the effect of increasing the distance between David’s manifest aspirations to be considered a reliable source for faithful scriptural exegesis, and the previous extent of the possibilities he has to fill that role over the course of his life.
Now, returning again to David’s erroneous exegesis of my statement, one is led to wonder what might have induced him to jump so precipitously to the conclusion he did?
I suspect it is because there are
other people—people with whom I have little or no personal connection—who are also assessing David’s future suitability for a position over which they have direct responsibility. I am not privy to such things, but apparently David is, and therefore I can imagine that, if he felt there was potentially something in his public message board communications that would lead such persons to have reactions similar to those I describe above, then it could also have a direct impact on his more immediate aspirations of employment. I cannot speak to that question with any degree of certainty, but David’s reaction seems to bear out the correctness of my suspicions.
Needless to say, my comments were very much general
in nature, whereas David’s reaction and concerns were very much specific
. I, of course, could not have anticipated his misperception of my meaning, and the relationship of that misperception to a set of circumstances about which I know nothing. All I could do is contradict his interpretation—which contradiction he has summarily rejected, as he has continued to promote—with the zeal of a dedicated martyr—his eisegetical perspective on the matter.
I hope that adequately answers your question, liz. I can't imagine that I will have much, if anything, more to say of the matter.